About the only way I can interpret news that venture firm New Enterprise Associates has found enough investors to fill out a $2.5-billion fund is that they have run a direct mail solicitation to everyone in China. After all, how you justify to experienced investors an outsized fund when the only economically rational thing to do in venture capital is to focus and keep fund size down.
I’ll concede, however, that there is a contrarian view possible. By having a fund this large NEA gets to play in larger deals, and be the series B/C partner of choice, and that is a strategy. But the firm is still reserving a billion or so of the fund for early-stage investing, and that strikes me as … optimistic.